My name is Nikki Glick. I am very excited to serve as the School Coordinator at Temple Beth Torah for the 2021-2022 school year. For the past three years, I have been involved in supporting the Religious School in my role as Education Chair. Prior to that, I was a member of the Education Committee for several years. I have thoroughly enjoyed contributing to the planning that goes into the operations of the school. Developing programming for our students and families has also been a great source of pleasure. Additionally, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to help out in some of the classrooms both in person and virtually. These experiences have allowed me to get to know the students and their families in a different capacity which has been incredibly rewarding.
I grew up outside of Philadelphia in a community with very few Jewish people. As a result, I had to actively seek out connections with other Jewish individuals. My first experience with the Boston area occurred when I attended Tufts University, where I graduated with a B.A. in Clinical Psychology and a minor in Child Studies. I subsequently returned to the Philadelphia region where I received my Psy.D. from the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology at Widener University. After finishing graduate school, my Brookline-bred husband Geoff and I chose to settle in the metrowest Boston region. It was important for our synagogue to be close to our home when it came time to find a community for our family. We wanted our children to have opportunities to connect with other Jewish children, and we were fortunate to have found that at TBT.
I am a licensed Clinical Psychologist and was certified in School Psychology as part of my training. My professional work has been focused on children and adolescents, as I am quite passionate about supporting individuals in these age groups. I have worked in an outpatient clinic, a local public school and in a private practice setting. Although I have been on a hiatus from my career since my children were young, I have enjoyed utilizing my enthusiasm for children and teens through my volunteer work in the Holliston schools and at TBT.
I am grateful to be a part of such a caring and passionate Religious School team and look forward to continuing to provide a meaningful Jewish education for our students.
I’m Charli Bernstein and have been a long time member of TBT. Since 2009, I have been the 6th grade teacher at our religious school. I have been a B’nai Mitzvah tutor since 2005. For several years, I taught 2nd grade in addition to 6th. I am the Ritual Committee Chair, chant Torah and Haftorah and am often a Gabbi during services.
My educational philosophy is to provide students with a solid foundation in Judaism by studying traditions, prayer, interpreting prayers, ethics and understanding our obligations to family, the congregation, the community, and the world. We study writings, poems, the Torah, music, and art. Debates and discussions are an integral part of our class. This allows students to gain confidence and learn to use different methods of expressing their thoughts and feelings. A final project, entitled I am a Jew is a student presentation of what being Jewish means to them. Individual Jewish identity is a lifetime journey that takes on different meaning through various phases of life. Watching these students grow spiritually with increased confidence brings me immense happiness.
My full-time job is Project Manager of Fire Services for ADT Commercial. I am a licensed technician and contractor and hold various fire accreditations. My daughter Natalya was named at TBT, attended religious school, lives is Boston and is a graduate of Mass College of Art and Design.
My name is Beth Ecker. My husband Dan and I have been members of Temple Beth Torah for 28 years. I have been teaching at TBT for 13 years. I taught in the nursery school a few years, then when Torah Tots began, I taught that class, then the Aleph class and now I teach the Bet class.
When I am not at TBT, I teach pre-school in Sherborn and I have been there for 13 years. I have 3 children, who all attended the religious school and were Bar and Bat Mitzvah here at TBT. My son, Max was in the first preschool class at Temple Beth Torah.
I believe every child should have a basic foundation to Judaism. I bring my sister and brother who live in Israel into my lessons and try to provide a personal experience of Israel for my students. I think children should learn about our traditions. I help children to see how their family celebrates and honors the traditions and values, and that each family may do this in a different way, but we all are part of the Jewish people. I like my students to know how special it is to be Jewish. My father was a holocaust survivor and Judaism has always been a big part of my life and I get joy from sharing stories with my students.
I am the Gimel teacher. I was born in Cairo, Egypt into a conservative Jewish home and went to a Jewish day school. When President Anwar Sadat was elected, he closed all Jewish schools. My parents sent my siblings and I to the Lycée Français Du Caire where I learned French and other academic subjects. The Rabbi would come to the house to prepare and teach my brothers for their bar mitzvah. Girls had their bat mitzvah as a whole class; each had a part of the Shabbat morning service. In 1967 during the 6 Day War, my family was forced to leave Egypt. I came to Boston in 1968, went to high school, college and got married. When my children went to Hebrew School, I could not help them with their homework. This is when I realized it was time to go back and learn the Hebrew that I had forgotten. I started to teach Hebrew, and it became my passion. I taught in several synagogues in the Boston area and my passion for learning grew stronger and stronger. I care deeply for my Hebrew School students both at Temple Beth Sholom and at Temple Beth Torah.
My name is Jane Kohuth and I teach the Hey class. My family joined Temple Beth Torah in 2017, and my son Kameron Stepansky is in the Gan/Aleph class. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, where I graduated from the same Hebrew School as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg! I am a graduate of Brandeis University, where I studied English and Creative Writing, Jewish Studies, and Women’s Studies. I have a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, where I focused on women in religion and Jewish history. I’ve taught various Hebrew School grades in a number of synagogues over the years, and spent two years as the Assistant Director of Education at a congregation in Northern Virginia. I’ve loved coming back to teaching Jewish subjects again, and am very much enjoying creating a Jewish history focused curriculum for the fifth grade.
I am also a children’s book author. I’ve published five books for young children, including three books with Jewish themes. My picture books Estie the Mensch and Who’s Got the Etrog? are both PJ Library books, so you may have received them in the mail at some point! My early reader Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree was a National Council of Social Studies Notable Trade Book for Young People. I visit classrooms in person and via video chat to teach writing workshops and have also taught creative writing classes for children and adults.
My family has found Temple Beth Torah to be warm and welcoming, and I am enjoying getting to know the community — in particular the kids, who are bright and curious and up for an intellectual challenge!
My name is Jill Metzger, and this will be my second year teaching the K’Sharim class. I spent a lot of time at TBT growing up, as my family was very active at the synagogue. I was a madricha in the Vav class for five years and taught the Dalet class for one year, so I have come to know the school quite well!
In 2019 I graduated with an Ed.M and Certificate of Advanced Studies in school counseling from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Before that, I received my BA in psychology from University of Connecticut. I am currently working as a high school counselor at a private school in the Greater Boston area.
My education philosophy is to give students agency in the learning process, so they are actively engaged and find meaning in the content. It is essential to create trusting relationships with students in order to create an environment conducive to learning. Additionally, I think it is important for children and adolescents to explore their religious identities and learn about the general tenets of Judaism. I went to Jewish day school as a child and was grateful for the opportunity to study the concepts of Judaism and decide how I wanted to incorporate those into my own life.
Elissa Washburn is the mother of three children – Rowan, Daven and Eliana. She has been a TBT member her whole life and was bat mitzvahed here! She taught Hebrew School for many years a long time ago and is excited to work with our youngest congregants in the Tots and Parents program.